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All that, in nature, by this act is done
Not to condemn; if men reject the light,
They, of themselves, condemn themselves to night; Is to give life; and life is in his Son:
God, in his Son, seeks only to display,
In ev'ry heart, an everlasting day.
"God hath so shown his love to us," says Paul,
"Even yet sinners, that Christ dy'd for all:"
Peter, that God's all gracious aim is this,
By Christ, to call us to eternal bliss:
Of all th' inspir'd to understand the view
Love is the text-and love the comment too;
The ground to build all faith and works upon;
"For God is love"-says the beloved John-
Short word-but meaning infinitely wide,
Including all that can be said beside;
Including all the joyful truths above
The pow'r of eloquence-for-" God is love."
Think on the proof, that John from Jesus
In this was God's amazing love discern'd,
Because he sent his Son to us; that we
Might live thro' him-how plain it is to see
That, if in this, in ev'ry other fact,
Where God is agent, love is in the act.
Essential character, (whatever word
Of diff'rent sound in scripture has occurr'd)
Of all that is ascrib'd to God; of all
That can by his immediate will befall:
The Sun's bright orb may lose its shining flame,
But ove remains unchangeably the same.
How Christ quencheth the wrath of God in us.
THE Saviour dy'd, according to our faith,
To quench, atone, or pacify a wrath-
But "God is love"-he has no wrath his own;
Nothing in him to quench, or to atone :
Of all the wrath, that scripture has reveal'd,
The poor fall'n creature wanted to be heal'd.
God, of his own pure love, was pleas'd to give
The Lord of Life, that thro' him it might live;
Thro' Christ; because none other could be found
To heal the human nature of its wound:
This great physician of the soul had, sure,
In him, who gave him, no defect to cure.
He did, he suffer'd ev'ry thing, that we
From wrath, by sin enkindl'd, might be free,
The wrath of God, in us, that is, the fire
Of burning life, without the love-desire;
Without the light, which Jesus came to raise,
And change the wrath into a joyful blaze.
The wrath is God's; but in himself unfelt;
As ice and frost are his, and pow'r to melt:
Not even man could any wrath, as such,
Till he had lost his first perfection, touch:
God has but one immutable good will,
To bless his creatures, and to save from ill.
Cordial, or bitter a physician's draught,
The patient's health is in his ord'ring thought:
God's mercies, or God's judgments be the name,
Eternal health is his all-saving aim.
When his humility, his meekness finds
Healing admission, into willing minds,
All wrath disperses, like a gath'ring sore;
Pain is its cure, and it exists no more.
Christ satisfieth the justice of God by fulfilling all
JUSTICE demandeth satisfaction-Yes;
And ought to have it where injustice is:
there is none in God-it cannot mean
Demand of justice where it has full reign:
To dwell in man it rightfully demands,
Such as he came from his Creator's hands.
Man had departed from a righteous state,
Which he, at first, must have, if God create:
'Tis therefore call'd God's righteousness; and
Be satisfy'd by man's becoming just:
Must exercise good vengeance upon men,
Till it regain its rights in them again.
This was the justice, for which Christ became
A man, to satisfy its righteous claim;
Became Redeemer of the human race,
That sin, in them, to justice might give place:
To satisfy a just, and righteous will,
Is neither more, nor less, than to fulfil.
It was, in God, the loving will that sought
The joy of having man's salvation wrought:
Hence, in his Son, so infinitely pleas'd
With righteousness fulfill'd, and wrath appeas'd:
Not with mere suff'ring, which he never wills,
But with mere love, that triumph'd over ills.
'Twas tender mercy-by the church confess'd,
Before she feeds the sacramental guest;
Rememb'ring him, who offer'd up his soul
A sacrifice for sin, full, perfect, whole,
Sufficient, satisfactory-and ail
That words (how short of merit!) can recall.
And when receiv'd his body, and his blood,
The life enabling to be just, and good,
Off'ring, available thro' him alone,
Body, and souí, a sacrifice her own:
From him, from his, so, justice has its due;
Itself restor'd,-not any thing in lieu.
Christ the beginner and finisher of the new life in man...
DEAD as men arc, in trespasses and sins,
Whence is it in them that new life begins?
'Tis that, by God's great mercy, love and grace,
The seed of Christ is in the human race;
That inward, hidden man, that can revive,
And, dead in Adam, rise in Christ alive.
Life natural, and life divine possess'd,
Must needs unite, to make a creature bless'd:
The first, a feeling hunger, and desire
Of what it cannot of itself acquire;
"Vengeance belongs to God"-and so it should-Wherein the second, entering to dwell,
For love alone can turn it all to good.
Makes all an Heav'n, that would be else an Hell.
As only light all darkness can expel,
So was his conquest over death, and Hell,
The only possible, effectual way
To raise to life what Adam's sin could slay:
Death by the falling, by the rising Man
The resurrection of the dead began.
This heav'nly parent of the human race
The steps, that Adam fell by, could retrace;
Could bear the suff'rings requisite to save;
Could die, a man, and triumph o'er the grave:
This, for our sakes, incarnate love could do;
Great is the mystery-and greatly true.
Prophets, apostles, martyrs, and the choir
Of holy virgin witnesses, conspire
To animate a Christian to endure
Whatever cross God gives him, for his cure:
Looking to Jesus, who has led the way
From death to life, from darkness into day.
Unmov'd by earthly good, or earthly ill,
The man Christ Jesus wrought God's blessed will:
Death, in the nature of the thing, that hour
Wherein he dy'd, lost all its deadly pow'r:
Then, then was open'd, by what he sustain'd,
The gate of life, and Paradise regain’d.
How the sufferings and death of Christ are available to man's salvation.
WITH hearts deep rooted in love's holy ground Should be ador'd this mystery profound Of God's Messiah, suff'ring in our frame; The Lamb Christ Jesus-blessed be his name! Dying, in this humanity of ours,
To introduce his own life-giving pow'rs.
Herein is love! descending from his throne,
The Father's bosom, for our sakes alone,
What Earth, what Hell, could wrathfully unite
Of ills, he vanquish'd with enduring might:
Igions of angels ready at command,
Singly he chose to bear, and to withstand.
To bear, intent upon mankind's relief,
Ev'ry excess of ev'ry shame, and grief;
Of inward anguish, past all thought severe;
Such as pure innocence alone could bear:
Dev'lish temptation, treachery, and rage,
Naked, for us, did innocence engage.
Nail'd to a cross it suffer'd, and forgave;
And show'd the penitent its pow'r to save:
It's majesty confess'd by Nature's shock;
Darkness and earthquake-and the rented rock,
And opening graves-the prelude to that pow'r,
Which rose in suff'ring Love's momentous hour.
No other pow'r could save, but Jesus can;
The living God was in the dying man:
Who, perfected by suff'rings, from the grave
Rose in the fulness of all pow'r to save:
With that one blessed life of God to fill
The vacant soul, that yieldeth up its will.
To learn is ev'ry pious Christian's part,
From his great master, this most holy art;
This our high calling, privilege, and prize,
With him to suffer, and with him to rise:
To live-to die-meek, patient, and resign'd
To God's good pleasure, with a Christ-like mind.
How Christ by his death overcame death.
JESUS is crucify'd-the previous scene
Of our salvation, and his glorious reign:
Mysterious process! tho' by Nature's laws,
Such an effect demanded such a cause:
For none but he could form the grand design,
And raise, anew, the human life divine.
No less a mystery can claim belief,
That what belongs to our redeeming chief:
Divine, and supernatural indeed
The love that mov'd the Son of God to bleed;
But what he was, and did, in each respect,
Was real cause producing its effect.
Children of Adam needs must share his fall;
Children of Christ can re-inherit all:
This was the one, and therefore chosen way,
For Love to manifest its full display:
Absurd the thought of arbitrary plans;
Nature's one, true religion this-and man's.
All that we know of God, and Nature too,
Proves the salvation of the gospel true;
Where all unites in one consistent whole,
The life of God renew'd within the soul:
Renew'd by Christ-he only could restore
The heav'n in man to what it was before:
Could raise God's image, clos'd in death by sin, And raise himself, the light of life, therein: The one same light that makes angelic bliss; That spreads an heav'n thro' Nature's whole abyss: The light of Nature, and the light of men, That gives the dead his pow'r to live again.
"The way, the truth, the life"-whatever terms Preferr'd, 'tis him that ev'ry good affirms; The one true Saviour; all is dung and dross, In saving sense, but Jesus and his cross: All nature speaks; all scripture answers thus"Salvation is the life of Christ in us.”
ALMIGHTY God! whose blessed will was done
By Jesus Christ, our Lord, thine only Son;
Death overcome, and open'd unto men
The gate of everlasting life again;
Grant us, baptiz'd into his death, to die
To all affections, but to things on high;
That when, by thy preventing grace, we find
The good desires to rise within our mind,
Our wills may tend as thine shall still direct,
And bring the good desires to good effect;
Thro' him, the one Redeemer from the fall,
Who liv'd and dy'd, and rose again for all.
THE morning dawns; the third approaching day
Can only show the place where Jesus lay:
Angels descend-Remember what he said-
"He is not here, but risen from the dead;
Betray'd into the hands of sinful men,
The Son of man must die, and rise again."
So sang the prophets, ever since the fall; Of rites ordain'd the meaning this, thro' all: This, by the various sacrifice of old, Memorial type, and shadow, was foretold: Even faise worship, careless what is meant, Gave to this truth an ignorant consent.
Christ is the sum, and substance of the whole That God has done, or said, to save a soul: To raise himself a church; when that is done, The world becomes the kingdom of his Son: An Heav'n restor❜d to the redeem'd, the born Of him, who rose on this auspicious morn.
He that was dead, in order to restore, Behold! he is alive for evermore: An heavenly Adam, full impower'd to give The life, that men were first design'd to live: Fountain of life, come whosoever will To quench his thirst, and freely take his fill. Mankind, in him, are life's predestin'd heirs; His rising glories the first-fruits of theirs: Hearts, that renounce the slavery to sin, Feel of his pow'r the living warmth within: Of strength'ning faith, of joyous hope possest, And heav'n-producing love, within the breast. The breast the temple of the Holy Ghost, When once enliven'd by this heav'nly host: His resurrection, the sure proof of ours, Will there exert his death-destroying pow'rs; Till all his sons shall meet before his throne In glorious bodies, fashion d like his own.
THE Lord is risen! He who came
To suffer death, and conquer too,
Is risen; let our song proclaim
The praise to man's Redeemer due:
To him whom God, in tender love,
Always, alike, to bless inclin'd,
Sent to redeem us, from above;
To save, to sanctify mankind.
"Worthy of all pow'r and praise,
He who dy'd and rose again;
Lamb of God, and slain to raise
Man, to life redeem'd—amen,”
That life which Adam ceas'd to live,
When to this world he turn'd his heart,
And to his children could not give,
The second Adam can impart.
We, on our earthly parent's side,
Could but receive a life of earth;
The Lord from Heaven, he liv'd, and died,
And rose to give us heav'nly birth.
CHO. Worthy of all pow'r and praise, &c.
This mortal life, this living death,
Shows that in Adam we all die;
In Christ we have immortal breath,
And life's unperishing supply:
He took our nature, and sustain'd
The mis'ries of its sinful state;
Sinless himself, for us regain'd
To Paradise an open gate.
CHO. Worthy of all pow'r and praise, &c. As Adam rais'd a life of sin,
So Christ, the Serpent-bruising seed,
By God's appointment could begin
The birth, in us, of life indeed:
He did begin; parental head,
As Adam fell, so Jesus stood;
Fulfill'd all righteousness, and said
"Tis finish'd!"-on the sacred wood.
CHO. Worthy of all pow'r and praise, &c.
Finish'd his work, to quench the wrath,
That sin had brought on Adam's race;
To pave the sole, and certain path
From nature's life, to that of grace:
For joy of this, God's only Son
Endur'd the cross, despis'd the shame, And gave the victory, so won,
For imitating love to claim.
CHO. Worthy of all pow'r and praise, &c.
To tread the path that Jesus trod,
Aided by him, be our employ;
To die to sin, and live to God,
And yield him the fair purchas'd joy:
To all the laws that Love has made
Stedfast, unshaken to attend;
He died, he rose, himself our aid,
"Lo! I am with you to the end."
Worthy of all pow'r and praise, He who died and rose again; Lamb of God, and slain to raise Man, to life redeem'd-Amen.
JESUS, ascended into Heav'n again,
Bestow'd this wond'rous gift upon good men,
That various nations, by his spirit led,
All understood what Galileans said:
He gave the word, who form'd the list'ning ear,
And truth became in ev'ry language clear.
One country's tongue, to his apostles known,
To ev'ry pious soul became its own:
The well dispos'd, from all the world around,
With holy wonder, heard the gospel sound;
Their hearts prepar'd to hear it-God's command
No obstacle in nature could withstand.
Nature itself, if ev'ry heart was right, All jarring languages would soon unite: Her's is but one, intelligible guide;
But tongues are numberless where hearts divide: The Babel projects bring them to their birth, And scatter discord o'er the face of Earth.
The prince of peace now sending, from above, His Holy Spirit of uniting love,
By its miraculous effusion, show'd
How great a pow'r he promis'd, and bestow'd;
Pow'r to reverse confusion, and impart
One living word to ev'ry honest heart.
Deaf to its influence the wicked stood,
And mock'd the just amazement of the good;
For want of sense, ascribing to new wine
Their joint acknowledgments of grace divine:
The world's devout epitome was taught,
And hid from pride the miracle, when wrought.
Known to the meek, but from the worldly wise, From scoffers hid, the wonderful supplies Of God's good spirit, now as near to men, Whose hearts are open to the truth, as then : Blest, in all climates, all conditions, they Who hear this inward teacher, and obey.
And hence the third distinctly glorious tie
Of love, which both are animated by:
All is one God, but he contains divine,
Living relations, evidently trine.
So far from hurting unity, that hence
The fulness rises of its perfect sense;
And ev'ry barren, spiritless dispute,
Against its truth, is pluck'd up by the root:
The faith is solid to repose upon,
Father, Word, Spirit, undivided One;
By whom mankind, of threefold life possest,
Can live, and move, and have its being blest.
Not by three gods; or one supremely great,
With two inferiors; or the wild conceit,
God, Michael, Gabriel; or aught else, devis'd
For Christians, in no creature's name baptiz'd;
But of the whole inseparable Three,
Whose fertile Oneness causes all to be;
And makes an Heav'n thro' Nature's whole abyss, By its paternal, filial, spirit bliss.
ON TRINITY SUNDAY.
CO-EQUAL Trinity was always taught
By the divines most fam'd for pious thought:
The men of learning fill'd, indeed, the page
With dissonant disputes, from age to age;
But with themselves, so far as one can read,
About their schemes are not at all agreed;
When they oppos'd, by reason, or by wrath,
This grand foundation of the Christian faith.
For what more fundamental point, or grand,
Than our ascending Saviour's own command?
"Go and baptize all nations in the name"-
Of whom, or what? (For thence the surest aim
Of Christian doctrine must appear the most)
-The name of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost-
Our Lord's interpretation here we see,
Of-" Thou shalt have no other gods but me"-
For can the phrase, so highly sacred, show The name of God to be omitted? No;
By its essential Trinity exprest,
It show'd what faith Christ will'd to be profest:
One God the Jews had own'd; and one Supreme,
With others lower, was the pagan theme;
How one was true, and how Supreme prophan'd,
Our Lord's baptismal ordinance explain'd.
The one divinity of Father, Son,
And Spirit, teaches Christian thought to shun
Both pagan, aud rabbinical mistake,
And understand what holy prophets spake;
Or in the ancient writings, or the new,
To which this doctrine is the sacred clue;
That so conducts us to the saving plan
Of true religion, as no other can.
For, were the Son's divinity deny'd,
The Father's must, of course, be set aside;
Or be a dark one-How can it be bright,
But by its own eternal, inborn light?
The glory of the Father is the Son,
Of all his powers begotten, or begun,
From all eternity; take Son away,
And what the Father can delight in, say.
The love, paternally divine, implies
Its proper object, whence it must arise,
That is, the Son: and so the filial too
Implies paternal origin in view;
ONE God the Father-certainly this term
Does not a barren deity affirm;
Without the Son; without the native light,
By which its fiery majesty is bright;
Without the spirit of the fire, and flame
Of life divine, eternally the same.
More one than any thing beside can be,
Because of its inseparable three;
Which nothing can diminish, or divide,
Tho' it should break all unity beside;
For this, as self-begetting, self-begot,
And to itself proceeding, it can not.
This total oneness of its threefold bliss, Life, light, and joy of Nature's vast abyss, No tongue so well can utter, but the mind, That seeks for somewhat to object, may find; No end of questions, if we must contest A truth, by saints, of ev'ry age, exprest.
The church did always, always will, agree In its one worship of the Holy three; As taught, by Christ, that unity divine Was full and perfect, that is, unitrine: He said,-" Baptize all nations, and proclaim Of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, the name."
The holy! holy! holy! of the host
Of Heav'n is Father, Son, and Holy Ghost;
Not holy-holier-and holiest-
But one, triune, same holiness confest;
One God, one loving, and beloved, Love;
On Earth below ador'd, in Heav'n above.
One living fulness of all perfect good;
Its own essential fountain, stream, and flood:
And when, according to the Christian creed,
Men worship God in spirit, word, and deed,
Faith, hope, and love's triunity of grace,
Will find, in their true, single heart, a place.
A CAUTION AGAINST DESPAIR. DESPAIR is a cowardly thing, And the spirit suggesting it bad; In spite of my sins I will sing, That mercy is still to be had.
For he that has shown it so far, As to give me a sensible heart,
How heinous soever they are, Delights in the merciful part.
By affliction, so heavy to bear,
He searches the wound he would cure; 'Tis his, to be kindly severe, 'Tis mine, by his grace to endure.
O! comfort thyself in his love, Poor sinful and sorrowful soul,
Who came, and still comes, from above, To the sick, that would fain be made whole.
Who said, and continues to say, In the deep of a penitent breast,
"Come sinuer, to me come away, I'll meet thee, and bring thee to rest."
A refusal to come is absurd; I'll put myself under his care; I'll believe his infallible word, And never, no never despair.
A PENITENTIAL SOLILOQUY.
WHAT! tho' no objects strike upon the sight!
Thy sacred presence is an inward light!
What! tho' no sounds shall penetrate the ear!
To list'ning thought the voice of truth is clear!
Sincere devotion needs no outward shrine;
The centre of an humble soul is thine!
There may I worship! and there may'st thou place
Thy seat of mercy, and thy throne of grace!
Yea fix, if Christ my advocate appear,
The dread tribunal of thy justice there:
Let each vain thought, let each impure desire
Meet, in thy wrath, with a consuming fire.
Whilst the kind rigours of a righteous doom
All deadly filth of selfish pride consume,
Thou, Lord! can'st raise, tho' punishing for sin,
The joys of peaceful penitence within:
Thy justice and thy mercy both are sweet,
That make our suff'rings and salvation meet.
Befall me, then, whatever God shall please! His wounds are healing, and his griefs give ease: He, like a true physician of the soul, Applies the medicine that may make it whole: I'll do, I'll suffer whatsoe'er he wills;
I see his aim thro' all these transient ills.
'Tis to infuse a salutary grief,
To fit the mind for absolute relief:
That purg'd from ev'ry false and finite love,
Dead to the world, alive to things above,
The soul may rise, as in its first form'd youth,
And worship God in spirit and in truth.
Just the reverse of this would Satan say,
That men should always faint, and never pray:
He wants to drive poor sinners to despair;
And Christ to save them by prevailing pray'r.
The judge, who feared neither God nor man,
Despis'd the widow when she first began
Her just request; but she, continuing on
The same petition, wearied him anon;
He could not bear to hear her praying still,
And did her justice, tho' against his will.
Can perseverance force a man, unjust,
To execute, however loth, his trust?
And will not God, whose fatherly delight
Is to save souls, so precious in his sight,
Hear his own offspring's persevering call,
And give the blessing which he has for all?
Yes, to be sure, he will; the lying no
Is a downright temptation of the foe;
Who first emboldens sinners to presume,
As if a righteous judgment had no room;
And, having led them into grievous faults,
With the despair of mercy, then, assaults.
Dear soul, if thou hast listen'd to the lies
Which, at the first, the tempter would devise,
Let him not cheat thee with a second snare,
And drag thee into darkness, by despair;
Pray, against all his wiles, for God will hear,
And will avenge thee of him, never fear.
He gives the grace to sorrow for thy sin, The sign of kindling penitence within; Let not the smoke disturb thee, for, no doubt, The light and flame will follow, and break out; And love arise to overcome restraint,
That thou may'st always pray, and never faint.
ON READING THE 5th AND 8th VERSES OF THE 37th PSALM.
Leave off from wrath, and let go displeasure: Fret not thyself, else shalt thou be moved to do evil. V. 8.
IN Psalm, this evening order'd to be read,
"Fret not thyself"-the royal psalmist said.
His reason why, succeeding words instill;
Or else, says he, " 'twill move thee to do ill,"
Now tho' I know that fretting does no good,
Its evil movement have I understood?
Move to do evil! then, dear soul of mine,
Stir it not up, if that be its design:
Its being vain is cause enough to shun;
But if indulg'd, some evil must be done:
And thou, according to the holy king,
AN ENCOURAGEMENT TO EARNEST AND Must be the doer of this evil thing.
Luke 18, 1. And he spake a parable unto them, to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint.
A blessed truth for parable to paint,
That men should always pray, and never faint!
Men use thee ill-that fault is theirs alone; But if thou use thyself ill, that's thy own: Meekness and patience is much better treasure; Then leave off wrath, and let go all displeasure: Tho' thou art ever so ill treated-yetRemember David, and forbear to fret.